Transcendent experiences among pilgrims to Lourdes

26 July, 2021

The research team led by Paul Dieppe published the paper Transcendent Experiences Among Pilgrims to Lourdes: A Qualitative Investigation in the Journal of Religion and Health featuring some of the results of project 118/16 - The experiences of participants in religious healing rituals in Lourdes: The role of noetic meaning and identity shift, supported by the BIAL Foundation.

“Millions of pilgrims visit Lourdes each year, often seeking revitalisation rather than miraculous cures. We sought to understand the phenomenon of transcendent experiences. We spoke with 67 pilgrims including assisted pilgrims, young volunteers and medical staff. About two in five reported a transcendent experience: some felt they had communicated or had close contact with a divine presence, while others reported a powerful experience of something intangible and otherworldly. Transcendent experiences are an important feature of pilgrimage to Lourdes and the place offers the faithful a means of connecting with the divine, with nature and with the self.”